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Jul 6, 2008

Scams and Scammers.

People in foreign lands who share a surname with me have really rotten luck, in fact lethal luck. Some time ago I received what is the third notification of someone with my surname meeting with a fatal accident in a far off land, after depositing a large sum of money in a financial institution, and being intestate.

Being a naïve kind of fellow with a great deal of concern for my unrelated namesakes, I thought to do a post advising them to;
(a) Change their name before travelling overseas.
(b) Don’t deposit tens of millions in foreign banks, thus tempting fate. And
(c) Make a will, so your family can benefit.

Of course I am not that silly, I resent this type of thing which uses the perceived greed of people to get them to hand over details and money in order to attain something that does not rightfully belong to them. It really is tempting though, but you have about as much chance of this being real as having Bill Gates pick your name out of the phone book as someone to leave a lot of money to.

If you are reading this Bill, I am very deserving and my phone number is ……. .

In researching I ran into an interesting site “ LLC,” whose aim is “fighting spam and scams on the Internet.”

It contained an example of what they refer to as a ‘Next of Kin’ scam, which is so close to mine it could have almost come from the same person. The one I received was as follows with the similarities highlighted with it : -

Some comments about the following email:
An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
"from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
"is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal - arrests of online criminals are rare)
This email message is a next of kin scam.
This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes. (email address has been used in a known fraud before)


(In the interest of saving space I have not included the mailing details.)

I'm David Thomson, An expert at cooperate and legal claims, I'm a partner at Thomson & Associates.
I am Johan Campher, the Branch manager of First National Bank in Pretoria, South Africa.

I am contacting you in regards to a deceased client who was a victim of a car accident on the Madrid las-Matas Highway (M40) in March 2005. A prominent client of mine happens to share the same LAST NAME with you.

A foreign consultant/Contractor with the Ministry of Solid Minerals here in South Africa opened a year fixed deposit account of [$] Twenty Five Million U.S Dollars with my bank. Some months after he opened the account with us, he died during a mining explosion in Pretoria.

Before his death, my client deposited (22million$) at the vault of a financial institution here in Europe, documentations regarding these indicates that claims must be to his relative/ family member! The deceased who died by accident unfortunately died without will (intestate) . I have contacted the white and yellow page in-search of his relatives but have unfortunately not succeeded.

… bank where he opened a fixed deposit account on 5th February 2003, but unfortunately, he did not disclose any of his next of kin or heir as at the time of opening the account and my entire attempt in locating any of his relations proved abortive.

it has been called to my attention that the New EU law of succession/claims/fund indicates a duration in which such claims could be tolerated. I have recently been mandated by the Institution demanding me to present a relative of the deceased whom could be the next of kin/beneficiary of the said funds. Failure to respond to this ultimatum would legally allow the financial institute to report this funds to the central bank of EU as unclaimed funds(Lack of supersede).

Now, I am contacting you as a foreigner, for you to stand as the next of kin to the deceased in repatriating the money he left behind, before it gets confiscated as our bank is about to declare the account unserviceable.

I and my colleague has succeeded in almost all the necessary requirements concerning the release of this funds and It is my intention to introduce this opportunity to you as the beneficiary. Please note that I'm legally equipped with all necessary information/documentations concerning this fund.

Meanhile I have concluded every arrangement with a classmate of mine who is a renowned lawyer and very much-versed in codicils and will matters. All the information needed and every vital document in my possession regarding this transaction has been handed over to him, to enable him acquire the legal documents, which will confer on you the right over the fund.

Upon your decision of acceptance, I would process the release of this funds to your possession, you would be entitled to 50% of the said funds and 50% for me .

Upon the completion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30 % of the total sum, hence the balance of 70% will be shared among myself, the account officer of the deceased and the lawyer.

For security reasons, I have decided not to add more information into this letter, but immediately you get in touch with me I would be able to inform you on how this could be concluded. I strongly advise that you firstly contact me via email or fax as they is a 8-10 hrs time difference.

Please indicate your interest by responding through my private e-mail address: so that I will give you more information and also furnish you with all the documents relating to this transaction.

Its' been my wish to have an investment outside my country, so this is an opportunity for me to invest my share of these funds in your country.

My plan is to invest my own share in Real Estate and Stock in your country.

In conclusion, Its my concern to demand your ultimate honesty, co-operation and confidentiality to enable us conclude this transaction. I GUARANTEE that this process would be executed under a legitimate arrangement that would legally protect you from any breech of Law.

Note that this transaction must not be disclosed to a third party. This is necessary to avoid disclosure that may jeopardize this golden opportunity and also my official position.

David Thomson LLM/MBA   Best Regard, *Mr.Johan Campher*

Kind of like winning the lottery isn’t it, well it just so happens that lottery wins are a favorite, a friend of the family just sent $50 to claim a $65,000 lottery prize, we didn’t hear about it till after she did it.

I recommend the site to anyone who has suspicions. One of the best features is the ‘Scamomatic’ where you paste the text, hit the button and a result comes up.

I ran the letter through and got the following result: -

Please carefully review the following Scam-O-Matic results:
An email address mentioned inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
This email looks like a next of kin scam.

This email lists free webmail addresses. Besides personal use for legitimate purposes, use of such addresses is also typical for scams. NOTE: Lotteries, banks, government agencies and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes. (email address has been used in a known fraud before)

Thank you for using Scam-O-Matic. If you found the results from this check useful then please mention to your friends, family and co-workers, so they can also use it to check out and report suspicious emails that may have been sent to them by criminals.

Once you have received any scam emails, it means the scammers know your email address. You will probably receive further scam emails. Therefore we recommend that you bookmark (Ctrl+D) in your web browser for when you may need it again.

If you have reason to feel disquiet about a document the best policy is to trash it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

1 comment:

  1. Damn!

    Does that mean that the $10,00 per month I've been sending that nice Nigerian bank manager is lost?

    I wondered why he never called me.

    Who knew?